"el pueblecito" -- the little village inside the walls
What may come across as fiction or mockery seems to be more real than you think. The unique prison system featured in Get the Gringo is based on an actual penitentiary named La Mesa prison in Tijuana that existed until 2002, the year they decided it gotten out of hand and demolished it. And that is quite astonishing to say the least. Because my initial reaction to the village (including shops, women and children) within a prison was that of non belief. I really thought it was pure fiction. So our main character played by Mel Gibson (for the most part nameless) who at a certain time does say his name is Reginald T. Barnes ends up in this prison after he fails to escape from both the Mexican and the American police. At this point we get the impression that Reginald is not the smartest criminal around. However this seems to be more a case of bad luck then not having the wits since soon after we get to see what Reginald is all about. We will get to see a ruthless and relentless man that apparently has compassion. Which he shows for this 9 year old boy he befriends. On an artistic level this is not a groundbreaking or challenging role for him. It simply is the Mel Gibson we know from before he got infamous. And I must say it was very rewarding to seem him do his stuff. Add to that a wonderful supporting cast, solid action and humor and you know you can't go wrong with this one. But while the movie is very enjoyable it isn't extraordinary and does have this Direct to DVD feel to it. Not a problem for me personally. Just mentioning since for some it could be a deal breaker. Overall this is a Mel Gibson actioner that definitely is worth watching.